Central America

Despite travel warnings, Mexico keeps climbing tourist destination rankings

Tourists are seen along the beach resort of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, December 31, 2015. REUTERS/Henry Romero - RTX20OU9

Tourists are seen along the beach resort of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, December 31, 2015. REUTERS/Henry Romero - RTX20OU9

A recent report released by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) revealed that Mexico has surpassed Turkey as the eighth most popular tourist destination in the world.

According to MexicoNewsDaily.com, Mexico welcomed 35 million visitors last year, with a nine percent increase in foreign tourists arriving in the country.

Due to political unrest and security concerns, Turkey welcomed 28.3 million visitors last year.

Mexico had dropped in the UNWTO rankings to 15th in 2013 but has since climbed back to ninth due to improved security and a steadily recovering tourism industry in certain regions. The country finished eighth for last year, with only 600,000 fewer visitors than the seventh-place United Kingdom.

Tourism revenue was also up in Mexico, climbing to $19.6 billion.

More from TravelPulse

Tourism officials in Mexico believe the country will enter the top five in the UNWTO rankings soon due to the 50 percent increase in visitor numbers since 2012. Mexico’s Tourism Secretariat also said the nation is working to provide more activities and attractions to entice travelers to stay longer when visiting.

Despite remaining concerns about crime in certain areas of the country, a recent survey of travel agents saw business to the country increase, including 45 percent who reported an increase in Mexican vacation sales by more than five percent.

In terms of specific markets that have performed the best over the last year, the Riviera Maya, Cancun, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit were all considered the most desirable destinations in Mexico.